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Old 08-17-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
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What to say to my Mom!

Hi, I have been reading about Alzheimer's disease and Dementia, and found this board. My Mom recently fell and was taken to the hospital. She was not hurt, but very confused and weak. She was in the hospital for 4 days and they did a lot of test and said that she had some alzheimer's and said that she would have to go to rehab to get her strength back. My Mom has vocal cord cancer and is taking radiation treatments, which is bad. She is very angry with me for taking her to rehab. She tells me that I have ruined her life and I have turned on her. This is heartbreaking because I have always helped her and looked after her as much as possible. I have brothers, but I do the most. What do I say to her when she says these things to me? She says that she will never get to go home, but that is not why she is there. Any suggestions would help as I am so upset over all of this. Thanks

 
Old 08-17-2009, 08:04 PM   #2
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

Yes my dear friend -- what do you say to Mom? Very little.

You just say "when you do what they want you to do to build up your strength, you'll be able to come home". When she asks 'when' say soon

You will develop the ability to do the "bob and smile". Don't say too much, she's living in another world now and what you are saying isn't sticking as much.

Don't take her hateful words to heart. She really is not aware of saying much.

I'm sorry you had to come here but we welcome you. There are numbers of us here who either are:
1) going through it now
2) have been through it and still involved but from a distance (nursing home placement)
3) have been through it and loss someone from this horrible disease (me and others)

Get yourself assigned as her Power of Attorney and Get a durable power of attorney -- also get a Medical Directive/Living Will done before anymore of her mind goes and she'll not be able to do so.

Having those documents set up will save you a world of grief during the worse that's yet to come.

If she has a house, get your name on the house as a co-owner.

Take Care and write often. we are here for you. Today one of our on-line buddies lost her Dad from this illness so today we're all grieving right along with her.

CaringSister54

 
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:00 AM   #3
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

Just say "I am sorry you feel that way" when she makes hurtful statements. If you can, add, " I love you very much." Then change the subject.

Alzheimer patients do not know what is happening to them , they are very scared, and they lash out irrationally at the closest person -- that seems to be you. Think, "it is not Mom, it is the disease."

Love,
Martha

 
Old 08-18-2009, 04:43 AM   #4
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

Hi
My famous words for mom is (she is in rehab/long term care). As soon as you get better and can walk we will think about coming home. I have been saying that to her since March. Down inside she knows that day may never happen. I know it will never happen. I just reassure we are here for her and that I love her very much. I visit often twice a day only because the facility is right down the end of my street I can walk over there. It is basically in my back yard. I stop in for 10 quick mins before work then at the end of my night I walk up for half an hour. She just needs to be reasured that you have not abandoned her. Yes, they do lash out at the ones they love the most. The best method that works the best is to yes a lot of things she says with a smile on your face. My mom when she first went to rehab 3 years ago she was soooooooooooooo angry at us. After so many visits in and out she got better at it. Now it has become her home. She likes it there.

pauline

 
Old 08-18-2009, 04:49 AM   #5
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

Thanks very much for the quick reply. It helps just talking about it, because early each day I arrive at the rehab and take her for radiation. She is sitting there looking at me as if she hates me and I am sure she does at the moment. Yesterday I bought her a new shirt and some things. I gave her roommate two gowns because she had been there for two weeks and she said that her husband never remembered to bring her one. My Mom threw a fit all the way to her treatment because I had gotten her roommate something.
I stay with her until about 5:00 everyday, but I have to leave for a few days this week to take care of my family. I live 400 miles away from her.
Thanks for listening. Your words have helped.

 
Old 08-18-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

Jean 2003,

what others will tell you is that parents don't adjust well when they have visits a lot from family. Sometimes during the initial placements you have to just not visit for a week or two so they learn to adjust and rely on the staff that is there.

when you go after an abence, even if she says "where the hell have you been" Say, I've been here and we've had lots of fun. then just smile and change the subject.

Being so far away, you will feel the distance and if she lashes out at you you will feel guilt.

WE DO NOT ALLOW GUILT HERE. so remember, she's no longer your Mom but her body that some stranger has taken over.

Unfortunately there's no turning back

Caring

 
Old 08-18-2009, 07:02 PM   #7
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

You have to remember that what comes out of their mouths is not connected to your reality at all. They don't hate you and they are not mad at you. They are frustrated that they live in a world that makes no sense to them. They are scared that what they see and think is confused and scrambled.

I was gone for two weeks. I returned and my parents acted as if I was there yesterday. I was there yesterday and when I arrived today I got... where the blah have you been. They swore they had not seen me in ages. I have to smile because they have NO time frame to reference from.

I have been chewed out for bringing things and for not bringing things, for spending time with somebody else or being under foot... there is always something. But if I lived in their upside down world, I wonder how sweet and smiling I would be

Go take care of your family and come back refreshed. Mom will be ok There is no guilt in this venture. There are only good people doing the best they can with what they have to work with....

Love, deb

 
Old 08-19-2009, 04:57 AM   #8
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DGabriel10 View Post
You have to remember that what comes out of their mouths is not connected to your reality at all. They don't hate you and they are not mad at you. They are frustrated that they live in a world that makes no sense to them. They are scared that what they see and think is confused and scrambled.

I was gone for two weeks. I returned and my parents acted as if I was there yesterday. I was there yesterday and when I arrived today I got... where the blah have you been. They swore they had not seen me in ages. I have to smile because they have NO time frame to reference from.

I have been chewed out for bringing things and for not bringing things, for spending time with somebody else or being under foot... there is always something. But if I lived in their upside down world, I wonder how sweet and smiling I would be

Go take care of your family and come back refreshed. Mom will be ok There is no guilt in this venture. There are only good people doing the best they can with what they have to work with....

Love, deb
Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone. I will try to understand better and not get upset. She has been a little better to me, just never sure what I will find when I visit. I really appreciate everyone that has answered me. It has helped so much.

Jean

 
Old 08-19-2009, 09:19 AM   #9
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

I absolutely understand not knowing what you will walk into on any specific day. Therefore I have no expectation. I walk in with a smile on my face and kisses to go around. Even if they jump down my throat I just remember it is their way of releaseing their stress, fear, and anxiety. So I am helping them by letting them vent. Just remember to not take it personally because it is truly not directed at YOU! It is directed at the crazy world the brain creates.

No, it's not easy. There are times it is terribly frustrating and painful..... but keep reminding yourself that it is the disease talking and not your parents. I try to remember how difficult it is for them and that makes it a little easier for me. It's a real lesson in tolerance and patience isn't it? I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers......

Love, deb

Last edited by Gabriel; 08-19-2009 at 09:19 AM.

 
Old 08-19-2009, 07:47 PM   #10
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

Thanks, today when I left my Mom told me to go and never come back. How do you not feel guilt? How does a person get rid of it?
Jean

 
Old 08-19-2009, 08:08 PM   #11
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

I found that the trick was to realize that even though that LOOKS like your loved one, it isn't.

What makes us "us"? The body? The hair? The walk? Nope. It's our personality. And as soon as dementia gets a good hold on a person, that person is gone, and the "imposter" takes his/her place.

When mom tells you to get the hell out and stay the hell out, it's not mom. She has no idea what she's saying.

The response to that is, "Ok, mom! (cheerfully) I will see you tomorrow!" and she might cuss you clear out the door. But remember - it's NOT mom! It looks like mom, it sounds like mom, but it's not her at all.

Once you make that switch in your mind, it will be easier. I remember having an awful time with that, too, Jean. But look at mom and love her for who she USED to be. Because on Planet Alzheimer's...they are imposters.

...lil' deb

 
Old 08-19-2009, 09:06 PM   #12
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

It is absolutely a mind game Jean. If you look at Mom, believe everything she says to you, internalize it and let it eat at you, then this disease will drive you nutty as a fruit cake. You have to know that, in her right mind, your Mom would never say those things to you. She has lost the ability to rationalize and think like you and I. She is scared and frustrated by this new chaotic world that she has been plunged into that makes absolutely no sense. She has no awareness of the disease that has overtaken her therefore she is sure that it is you, the caregivers, the place she is, anything other than her, that is the problem. So she strikes out at whatever is near her. And you are there!! She is truly not striking out at you but at the fear and frustration that consumes her.

By letting her lash at you, you are actually doing her a favor. What else does she have to lash out at. You are safe. She knows you will be back tomorrow. Somewhere deep beyond the tangles and plaque that cloud her brain she knows you love her and will come back. That is what you have to remember. You are that little refuge in the huge storm that swirls in her brain.

So I don't take what Mom or Dad says to me as gospel truth. It is the plaques and tangles in her brain warping their ability to reason and express what they are really feeling. I know they love me and would be more lost without me but I also know that they are fearful, frustrated, and anxious because they don't understand what is happening to them. So if it makes them feel better to lash out at me.... I can deal with it.

If it gets too much for THEM to handle. If they are too upset, scared, paranoid, aggressive, or hostile, then it is a good idea to look for a medication that will help them handle the chaos that exist in their minds. Otherwise, we are grown up adults that can understand what is happening to them..... and we just smile and let them vent their frustration

or that's how I do it.....

Love, deb

 
Old 08-20-2009, 01:38 AM   #13
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

to all

So you can understand, I will say

The changes that happen with a parent during the illness is exactly what everyone alludes to here.

They may be the body of your parent but they are no longer your parent. They are a stranger locked inside the parents body.

Its like that little boy or girl who would run towards you when you got home from work, who thought that you were the greatest and wanted to marry you when they got older. Then they turn to teens and all of a sudden, you're old, you don't understand anything, you're so "out of touch", you're horrible, you're too controlling, you're a terrible mother/or / father. . . .
Remember? Remember sometimes feeling this way when you were a teen?

Then you get your child back when they're about early/mid 20's. While you may still be old and out of touch with things as they are for them, you are their parent and they need you for advice, help, or possible suggestions on solutions, opinion, or options.

So unfortunately with our parents, they are changing as well. Its just that you won't get them back or have them back to the way they ever were. You can't go to them for help -- they are technically needing the help of caregivers.

I sit here sometimes and after dealing with the dang beauracy of bull with my mom, I wonder -- what happens to those on the earth who no longer have anyone? No parents, or no children, no siblings, nothing. Who is there for them?

CaringSister54

 
Old 08-20-2009, 04:31 AM   #14
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

I too feel sorry for people with no families, and wonder how they cope. As much pain and suffering we go through, bringing up kids in ALL the stages, good and bad, worrying about them when they are grown up and we don't hear from them for a while, taking care of our elderly parents, losing them to death etc --- it is all worth it becase we are not alone, someone cares for us and wll help us when we get old, even if that is getting us into a good NH as I have instructed my kids to do if I ever get AD.

People without families don't have to do any of the above, but who can they cry with?

I would hope they have life long friends who fill that role ...

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 08-20-2009 at 04:31 AM.

 
Old 08-20-2009, 05:17 AM   #15
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Re: What to say to my Mom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha H View Post
I too feel sorry for people with no families, and wonder how they cope. As much pain and suffering we go through, bringing up kids in ALL the stages, good and bad, worrying about them when they are grown up and we don't hear from them for a while, taking care of our elderly parents, losing them to death etc --- it is all worth it becase we are not alone, someone cares for us and wll help us when we get old, even if that is getting us into a good NH as I have instructed my kids to do if I ever get AD.

People without families don't have to do any of the above, but who can they cry with?

I would hope they have life long friends who fill that role ...

Love,

Martha
Gee! All of you seem to have it together. I just hope I can get this way. I guess I am just starting with this and it is all so new. But such good advice, and I do feel better today. I guess because I am taking a few days, or maybe a week off. I have lost 6 lbs in two weeks, which is not a good thing for me, too much stress.
Jean

 
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